KOTA Cares: Front Porch Coalition works to save lives

Front Porch Coalition
Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:00 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - For the past 10 years, suicide deaths have increased in South Dakota. On this week’s KOTA Cares, we spotlight an organization working to fight that statistic.

For more than 20 years, the Front Porch Coalition has worked to reduce the number of suicides in the community, while also helping those who have been affected by suicide.

Death by suicide is often sudden and unexpected, leaving friends and family to wrestle with emotions like anger, confusion, and sadness.

Members of the Front Porch Coalition’s Loss Program come to the scene of a suicide and help friends and family through the loss, staying with them throughout the grieving process.

”Our team and our staff have all lost someone to suicide so, we have walked that journey. We want to offer healing and hope for the future and really just sit beside them in their grief and pain and provide as much support and resources as we can to those families,” said Bridget Marshall, executive director for the Front Porch Coalition.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 29 in South Dakota, and despite the large number of people affected there is still a stigma surrounding the issue.

Marshall added ”You know I think there is still this stigma of asking for help and being able to say I’m having thoughts of taking my life, how are people going to respond to me, is it going to affect my employment, what is my family going to say. So, really breaking down some of those barriers.”

Additionally, the Front Porch Coalition offers suicide prevention training and education for all members of the community.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.

If you would like to donate to the Front Porch Coalition click here.